Today I wanted to share a new tool I’ve been using for self myofascial release (SMR), a Compressions muscle roller stick. I’ve been using self myofascial release techniques for a few years now and always thought I was fine and dandy with just a foam roller. Ok many foam rollers, as I own about 4 different kinds, plus balls. On one of my yoga workshops recently the subject of SMR came up and my mentor Jeni mentioned muscle roller sticks and their use in increasing flexibility that wasn’t as harsh as foam rolling. Being me and the eternal procrastinator I made a note to get one, then promptly forgot about it. Flash forward to the week before Blogfest and I got the chance to review a muscle roller stick, naturally I said yes! Coincidence? Karma? Luck? Call it what you will, I call it my new best friend.
The muscle roller stick by Compressions is a stiff stick that’s 15″ long. It’s got grippy handles, so your post-workout sweaty hands won’t slip. The middle ‘lumpy’ part has 9 nodules that rotate freely around a stainless steel metal rod to really get into the muscle fascia. You use it pretty much like a rolling pin, hold one handle in each hand and roll up and down the muscle.
Benefits of using the muscle roller stick include:
- Help prevent soreness and injury.
- Can help correct muscle imbalances.
- Reduces soreness and improves tissue recovery.
- Suppresses and reduces trigger point sensitivity and pain.
- Great tool for any home therapy routine.
When using the muscle roller stick it I found that it was much easier to control the tension pressure compared to a foam roller. Having more control over the tension really made it great for area’s like my scalenes/sternocleidomastoid which have been sore on my right side since sleeping weird at Blogfest. Honestly they are tight anyway on that side so no wonder. With this stick I’m able to at least try and release some of the muscle tension.
The key thing with SMR is actually DOING it. Heck I KNOW it’s a good thing to do and I don’t do it nearly as much as I should. Why? Because using a foam roller is sometimes a little cumbersome and awkward. However having a small muscle roller stick like this means you can roll while watching TV, drinking a post workout shake or just chatting with friends. In all I felt it makes SMR it more accessible. Like right now I have a HUGE bruise on my right thigh that would be HELL on a foam roller, but with the stick I was able to lighten the tension as I rolled over that area.
The muscle roller sticks have a great advantages over foam rollers: They are smaller, more discrete and you don’t need to be in weird positions. The muscle roller sticks are also great for those unable to get on the floor (or more aptly get off the floor again). I loved that this one had rotating textured nodules rather than just a plastic stick, makes it much more like a massage.
In all I loved it. I thought I wouldn’t use it as much as my foam rollers but I do. I’ve even used it like a foam roller for my calves. Especially useful last night as I taught my first step class in, oh… two years! My calves were definitely feeling it (still are!). I’ll be using this muscle stick roller again tonight too! Definitely recommend!